26 year old Ruben Navarro wouldn’t die. Five day earlier the disabled man had been found unresponsive at a long term care facility. His mother gave consent for him to be taken off life support. And she gave her consent for organ donation.
But let’s just say the doctors got a little greedy. San Francisco transplant surgeon Dr. Hootan Roozrokh and a colleague entered the operating room at Sierra Vista Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, Calif., at 11:20 p.m. They got to the O.R. even before the Sierra Vista doctor, who was supposed to be in charge of removing the patient from life support and verifying that his heart had stopped beating, arrived.
They were there for the organs. So they didn’t wait for the doctor in charge to get there. They removed his breathing tube and waited for death. And waited. And waited.
After a few minutes, the transplant surgeon instructed a nurse to give Navarro 100 milligrams of morphine and 40 milligrams of Ativan, a sedative. (Enough to kill) Some 18 minutes later, Dr. Roozrokh ordered the dosages to be repeated, saying they needed more “candy.” (That’s a nice touch, isn’t it?)
The surgeon is also accused of administering Betadine into the patient’s stomach through a feeding tube. The antiseptic is part of a sterilization procedure done to the bodies of organ donors after they’re dead. But of course the patient wasn’t dead yet.
And after more than 30 minutes had passed, when the organs were no longer viable, the transplant doctor and his colleague abruptly left the O.R. and hospital leaving Navarro frothing from the mouth and shivering. He finally died seven hours later on February 4 at about 8 a.m.
I’d like to think that the good doctors were just super pumped to save someone else’s life with Navarro’s organs and just couldn’t wait for natural death. Or I could think their favorite shows were on that night and they didn’t want to miss them. Anyone want to bet?
Should we really be surprised at this type of activity? Weak and useless life must make way for others, right? That’s the compassionate and caring way. How come compassion and caring has seemed so icky lately? The more “caring” our society gets the colder it seems. I think when you start thinking about “man” in general terms instead of the one individual person in front of me right now, I think you go down a bad path.